Wednesday, July 29, 2015


The little boy and his friend accompanying his father in tilling the field

Farm work is hard work. However, children see it differently. They see the work as play where they can hop from one field to another and follow their fathers with their big buri hats. Tilling includes --- the "kuliglig" or tilling; "pagong" or  harrowing, and; leveling which is the last stage prior to planting.

The seedbed, which is readied for transplanting in two weeks

The seedbed or "dapogan" where the RC12 seed variety bought from the Department of Agriculture (DA), were initially planted in a rectangular bed before it is transplanted in the field. This usually takes from 15 to 20 days after soaking the palay. Due to the high cost of diesel fuel for the pumps, farmers till, harrow, and level the field a week before transplanting. 

I told the farm hand that not all of the seeds sprouted. I also noticed that the growth was uneven. This is not a good thing and I may need to add chemical fertilizer (urea) to even out the growth. The palay seed was given by the DA at 50 percent discount to farmers in Pila. The other 50 percent was shouldered by the local municipal government. In addition, 15 sacks of organic fertilizer were given free of charge.

Unyok, the friendly and reliable mechanic

It is often said that no farmer can survive without a trusted and reliable mechanic. Whether we like it or not, problems  crop up with the equipment that we use. On our farm, we are ever grateful that we have Unyok (Filipino slang for Junior) to help us out when problems arise. As a token of his kindness, we give him "saging saba" (bananas) every now and then. I promise to give him a sack of rice after the harvest.

Bessie, the sweet cake vendor

I have known this friendly lady as far back as I can remember. Whenever there is work in the farm, she never fails to show up to sell us local "kakanin" or sweet bread like bibingka, suman, puto, palitaw, and other local cakes that she manages to cook that day. Whenever she sees me, she is often sure that I will be buying her stuff to feed the farm folks like the little tot behind, whom we fondly call, Bunso.

Farm caretaker and son pumping water in the field

The farm at Pila, Laguna is not irrigated. Hence, water is pumped by the use of Yanmar pumps like the one above. This equipment was bought 2nd hand, about 10 years ago and it still works perfectly today. However, we had a major overhaul which costs me a few bucks before we were able to use it again. The little boy accompanies his father, after attending school. The farm is his playground; so, he has a vast area to play around with friends.



Onli in da Pilipins: A Writer's Journal
Copyright © csmiravite™. All Rights Reserved